Donte Stallworth on balloon crash: 'I thought I was dead'
Updated On: Apr 09 2013 11:29:49 AM EDT
"That's going to be it. I literally thought I was dead," NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth said about the hot air balloon crash that injured him and his girlfriend.
Stallworth and his girlfriend Soleil Guuerro were onboard a hot air balloon when strong winds pushed it into power lines on March 16.
In an interview with ABC News, Stallworth said the pilot told them they couldn't land at their scheduled location. According to the NTSB report, the pilot said a strong downdraft pushed the balloon onto the power lines.
"I began to get concerned when I looked back and saw how close we were getting, really close," he said. "By the time I hit the power lines, it was too late."
He and Guerrero were shocked.
"As soon as we hit the power line, I could feel the electricity run from -- I felt it in my spine through my body," said Guerrero. "I caught on fire. I couldn't believe this was where it was going to end."
"The shock felt like it was maybe two or three seconds but the longest two or three seconds of my life," added Stallworth. "She was in corner of the basket on fire. I remember telling myself don't close your eyes. If you close your eyes, you're going to die."
The couple suffered second and third-degree burns.
"This situation right here made me realize that life is short," said Stallworth.
Stallworth, a free agent, hopes to resume working out within a month.
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